College of Science, Engineering & Technology

Africa's next generation of physicists

Dr Opeyemi Odutemowo is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Physics Department of Unisa's College of Science, Engineering and Technology.

Unisa postdoctoral research fellow, Dr Opeyemi Odutemowo, is among the 580 dynamic young scientists across the world nominated to take part in a unique celebration of scientific exchange: the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.

The meeting, scheduled to take place from 30 June to 5 July 2019 in Lindau, Germany, will host 42 Nobel Laureates and is designed to foster intellectual exchange among young scientists of different generations, cultures and disciplines. The scientific programme of each Lindau meeting is based on the principle of dialogue. The different sessions - lectures, discussions, master classes and panel discussions - are designed to activate the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experience between and among Nobel Laureates and young scientists.

Supervised by Prof Mokhotjwa Dhlamini, Odutemowo is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Physics Department in Unisa’s College of Science, Engineering and Technology. She previously graduated from the University of Lagos with an Applied Physics (Geophysics) qualification and completed her MSc and PhD degrees in Nuclear Physics at the University of Pretoria.

As a young scientist starting her career, Odutemowo is excited at the prospect of attending the meeting. "I believe that this meeting will give me a chance to meet my role models, exchange thoughts and seek advice, while also offering a platform to discuss current developments in science and beyond," she says.

Also attending the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting from Unisa

Dr Itani Madiba, a previous UNESCO-Unisa Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology (U2ACN2) PhD student and currently a postdoctoral research fellow, will attend with all costs covered by the German government.

Dr Pontsho Mbule, a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics, was nominated by The World Academy of Sciences, and her travel costs will be paid by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

Odutemowo says that it is important for the world to know that female scientists in Africa are an integral part of advancing scientific excellence through research and innovation worldwide. Regarding hobnobbing with Nobel greats, she says that she feels privileged to be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain insights, suggestions and advice about her research from the best. "This is a great opportunity, and I’m excited to be heading to Lindau in June," she says.

This year’s Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting is dedicated to physics, cosmology, particle physics and quantum technology. Among the 42 participating laureates are the 2018 Nobel Laureates in Physics, Donna Strickland and Gérard Mourou. Eight further laureates will come to Lindau for the first time. South Africa, this year’s host country, will present itself as a research nation on the International Day - traditionally the Monday of the meeting week.

* By Lesego Ravhudzulo, Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019/05/07